Pity the Pitiless

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Photo by Peter Lewis on Unsplash

Pity the Pitiless

You will never know true love
You, who weighs all things by gains
You’re left a wealth bereft of
Substance and joy, your void reigns

You, who weighs all things by gains
Born into meaningless means
Substance and joy, your void reigns
Stranger to spring’s renewed greens

Born into meaningless means
What is sin, you call a win
Stranger to spring’s renewed greens
The want you chase? Frail and thin

What is sin you call a win
You’re left a wealth bereft of
The want you chase; frail and thin
You will never know true love

You’re left a wealth bereft of
Compassion; lost, you taunt fate
You will never know true love
Your flock divides, wielding hate

Compassion lost, you taunt fate
Lies, scapegoats fuel your sad boast
Your flock divides, wielding hate
Both them and you suffer most

Lies, scapegoats fuel your sad boast
But spring sun will have her turn
Both them and you suffer most
You will never feel the burn

But spring sun will have her turn
You will never know true love
You will never feel the burn
You’re left a wealth bereft of

You will never know true love
To hold her hand, knowing God
You’re left a wealth bereft of
True gold, searched by dowsing rod

To hold her hand, knowing God
Surrender to selfless need
True gold, searched by dowsing rod
Not obtained through hate and greed

Surrender to selfless need
Unlocking joy none can buy
Not obtained through hate and greed
Treasures few can quantify

Unlocking joy none can buy
You’re left a wealth bereft of
Treasures few can quantify
You will never know true love

You will never know true love
You’re left a wealth bereft of
***

Written in honor of the peaceful worshippers in New Zealand who had their lives violently ended by a hate-filled man who was enabled by hate groups emboldened by greedy, racist, selfish, corrupt leaders (I’m sure you know the one leader I’m thinking of. I won’t give him the satisfaction of writing his name.)

Shared at dVerse Poetry–a Piece of Written Art, hosted by Victoria C. Slotto. We’re still dabbling with the pantoum form here.

Love, for Love’s Sake

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Photo by Charlie Hang on Unsplash

Love, for Love’s Sake

I have loved romantically
while being oblivious to its depths,
confined to the surface,
grasping at facades of
who I wanted to be
and who I wanted to
completely consume me,
growing mystified by
its brittleness
and inevitable indigestion.

I have loved, by sticking my head
inside an alligator’s mouth on a dare.

I have loved the greener grass
and the path untraveled
until detours revealed illusory scope
and textures tricking optics
into grasping curves
bent into ripened shapes
by light’s deception; I have loved
but a figment of her living ghost.

I have loved an imagination
and watched it slain by her reality.

I have loved deep
into the core elements of another
swiftly and inexplicably,
with the instant shock
of total immersion into
freezing waters,
slowing until bonds arrest us
in an exquisite insanity,
tricking the brain
into seeing love and attachment
as one and the same,
which renders all into ashes.

I have loved at first sight
and it seared my retinas.

I have loved
despite my best efforts not to love,
which, in essence, means that I have failed
at both loving and not loving
nearly simultaneously.

I believe therefore
we call it “falling in love”,
for no sane person
would willingly choose
this brand of nonsense,
steering directly into it
as one who wishes to be warm
plots a course directly into the sun.

I have loved over time against my will
and it was wonderfully traumatic.

I’ve flipped
the game
on its head
countless times;

each time,
my game piece
lands inside
the gator’s mouth.

I now love, knowing
its tremendous highs and incalculable lows,
the capricious nature of reciprocation
and whimsically fickle access to action
to fully experience and share,
fully aware that I wield little power
over the gambit,
only my position on the board
of an ultimately unsolvable game.

I now love with a full heart, knowing
that though I often experience bliss
and wield love to lift her
to fleeting triumphs with me,
ultimately I can never win,
and even as we run out of moves,
as we retire or surrender to fate
and, inevitably, as we
begin to lose each other,
the game will continue.

I now love,
not as a matter of choice or dare,
not with purpose nor design on winning;

I now love without purpose
because I see little purpose in not loving,
and also, aimless, purposeless love
is just love for love’s sake.

I now love that I love.
***

Shared at Poets United Poetry Pantry #442.

I Carved a Wish and Let it Rot

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Photo by Tianshu Liu on Unsplash

I Carved a Wish and Let it Rot

I carved a wish and let it rot
Do not make us a trite cliché
We wandered lives we both forgot
In overripe, fragrant decay

Do not make us a trite cliché
Your focus shifts, discarding me
In overripe, fragrant decay
Your hold on me, an empty plea

Your focus shifts, discarding me
I know that look, lived in its gaze
Your hold on me, an empty plea
Our history, beautiful haze

I know that look, lived in its gaze
We wandered lives we both forgot
Our history, beautiful haze
I carved a wish and let it rot

We wandered lives we both forgot
You flirt with him, turning the page
I carved a wish and let it rot
A labored pace, our passing age

You flirt with him, turning the page
In your heart, I am long replaced
A labored pace, our passing age
A sketched-out dream blotted; erased

In your heart, I am long replaced
It seems your wish has withered too
A sketched-out dream blotted; erased
Yet I still smile at dreams of you

It seems your wish has withered too
I carved a wish and let it rot
Yet I still smile at dreams of you
We wandered lives we both forgot

I carved a wish and let it rot
As all things end in their own time
We wandered lives we both forgot
Melodic memory sublime

As all things end in their own time
I wish you love and a full plate
Melodic memory sublime
We conjugate, entwined by fate

I wish you love and a full plate
As we are not a trite cliché
We conjugate, entwined by fate
In overripe, fragrant decay

We wandered lives we both forgot
I carved a wish. And let it rot.
***

Written for dVerse Poetry Forms – The Pantoum, hosted by Gina. Other poets’ contributions to this prompt can be found here. I probably veered slightly from the authentic structure of a pantoum, but I knew from the moment I read about this form that I wanted to tinker with it.

My thoughts on the origin of this poem: Nothing major. Wifey and I were discussing how our previous marriages and romantic relationships ended and how we often have moments of clarity when a relationship has tragically run its course prior to either party officially announcing the ending.

This part of a relationship is rarely a positive experience, as rarely do both parties come to the same conclusion at the same time. Someone always wants to hang on a bit longer, and that makes things rather messy.

This poem is a fictional account of an idealized version of one of these endings where both parties maintain a semblance of dignity and equanimity at journey’s end. I like to think that the couple in the poem remained good friends even after their romantic journey ended.

Feel free to offer constructive feedback if you feel moved to do so. Or not. No pressure, either way.

 

Cicada Shell

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Image by author

Cicada Shell

Age makes me forgetful
and fudge-brained, I dread to say
or perhaps, greater advancements
and enchantments are at play

it only just occurred to me
a week into February
that this month highlights my history

cultural, personal,
and other mysteries

and yet I haven’t needed relicts
of my own humanity
as touchstones for skin-tone

I know I’m alive when she arrives
and our tactile forcefields interact

mysteriously melting presently
into history like a scribe’s ink
sinking into paper, as we seep

boring deeply into each other’s
borders and core,
thus is our union recorded,
soaked, and sodden

heartened, I held her tight
with all my heart and might,
firm hand, and soft as cotton

our pleasure’s-way
made the pressure-play
of looming Valentine’s Day
all but forgotten

after that, our anniversary will come
and go with a similar lack of fanfare
casually cast aside like sloppy rhyme
in the middle of middling poetry

she will spend our grand day
in Boston seeing a child’s play
for a weekend excursion with friends

as I continue sketching meaning
within uncommon Seattle snow
as it trends towards commonality

there will be a continent between us
and I cannot recall us ever being closer
nor a moment I have felt apart from her

perhaps age makes me forgetful, or
maybe pre-fossiled brain is less fussy and
savvy enough to cast aside frivolities
as a cicada sheds its shell to prosper

I just know it is unnatural
to fret over what feels elemental

we breathe and laugh freely
like nature casually
coursing through us
***

Blueshifted Music

Blueshifted Music

Somewhere in-between
procrastination and care
lives a unique skill

I enjoy moving melody
a half measure sooner
than the vibration hits the ear

anticipating the motive
prior to its motivation
breaking it all down just
before the breakdown

I steep her tealeaves
several heartbeats before
her heart skips into
craving its honeyed warmth

I trace the groove
that draws her taught
and leaves her slack
before our moves

I’ve always been a
Thursday kind of guy
for in Thor’s mighty voice lies
the promise of weekend bliss

Friday’s a branded catfight
among the past goddesses

my goddess draws breath
as mine was easily lost

exhaling clairvoyant will
into her deepest wishes

I melt snow-sculptures
before they’ve fully amassed
accumulation
in her driveway

I live in the tension
in a contorted face
before the cry

don’t mistime me as sadist
for hearing the cry is still both
jarring and frightful

but the building crescendo
is everything

living in this way,
using my singularly
blueshifted power

in half-measured strides
into our future

keeps me in pace
with our present
***

This poem was shared on Medium as Blueshifted Music.

 

Doink-Doink

NFL: NFC Wild Card-Philadelphia Eagles at Chicago Bears

Doink-Doink

Imagine, if you will, training most of your life perfecting a difficult skill most don’t understand or respect. You hone your highly-specialized craft in a world where most risk life, limb, and brain-trauma fighting for that extra yard, and yet few who fight for those yards can replicate the one thing in which you have invested the most.

Now imagine developing a reputation for succumbing to external pressure and frequently failing at the one task you’ve spent most of your life perfecting. Your brothers who risk life, limb, and brain-trauma fighting for that extra yard continue to believe in you and try to boost your confidence as external forces clamor to see you fail again so they can tear your embattled spirit to pieces.

Lastly, imagine that the very thing you fear most comes to pass; failure on the greatest stage of your life, melting beneath the microscope of notoriety, your greatest effort summed-up in an onomatopoeic, “doink-doink”.

I sat on my floor, having just slid off my couch, staring at my screen in silence, no longer feeling January chill born from an old furnace and poor insulation. Numb to external elements, I didn’t feel the anguish I expected in typical expected terms. The team wearing the laundry I’ve rooted for since I was four had been bested by an apparent missed kick, and as I watch an entire city prepare to heap hatred upon the kicker’s slumped shoulders, a single thought echoed repeatedly in my head…

“That poor kid.”

frail sun slips away
winter night falls unannounced
I have faced both ways
***

Written for dVerse Haibun Monday: January, hosted by kim881.

for my dearest intrepid

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Photo by Steve Shreve on Unsplash

for my dearest intrepid

you and I are more different than alike
born under the same sign in different
eras and regions, our intertwined fate
indifferent to lineage, chromosomes

we share no bloodline, only profound love
for your mother and sister, and yes, still
I instilled my values upon your heart
hoping you’d call upon them in moments

of your greatest need, of unseen hazards
dovetailing with the inexplicable
born from my inevitable absence
(we rarely have say in Final partings)

we have differences and share likenesses
both from broken and imperfectly-stitched
families, mended by golden-lacquered truths
my truth lied in helping you stand alone

but while I drew strength from isolation
you forged alliances with other hearts
each heart fortifying your own backbone
foreign course, yet I admired your route

your unique journey led you to a path
not so different from mine; I know it well
a quest to find answers from a father
leading to an absence of resonance

while I can’t truly know your emptiness;
for it is a similar, but different
flavored void than my own quest for my Truth
if you never knew it before, hear me

I will end this crime and tell you the Truth
it’s what he should’ve told you long ago
and what I should’ve known you long needed
for you (as you are right now) are enough

you are you; your differences are beacons
as lighthouses, cutting light from darkness,
rock from sea, known earth from cosmic secrets
I pray our similarities guide you

strengthening, enlightening your journeys
without fogging your way towards your own Truth
for, you see, my dearest, intrepid son
we are more alike than we are different
***

Liberating the Moment

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World outside my kitchen window.

Liberating the Moment

She missed it earlier
but examining the November storm
from behind the sanctuary of
coffee-sweetened kitchen window,
before the late-fall deluge wiped evidence,
wispy-warm poems rose
from every chimney vent
clear to the far tree-line, each
an ascending esoteric-buttressed declaration
of internal warmth and acceptance.

She smiled,
squeezing me extra tight
as the rain shushed the trees,
shooed the expelled steam-dancers,
obscured the looking-glass,
embracing the roof overhead
with white noise.

We observed the rain in silence.

Seizing the moment
would’ve been ideal; instead,
we let it breathe,
the evergreens and barren trees,
the chimney vents and fogging panes,
she, embraced by me,
all exhaling in equanimous unity.
***

Another one for toads.

Ephemeral Inquisitor

Ephemeral Inquisitor

sunset spies our pose ephemeral
second-hand glides a blushing sky
nectar merged near hip-femoral
the hands reside, each on a thigh
though breathing strained, there slips a sigh

there slips a plea to make it fall
broad, gentle strokes now urgent, coarse
tongue strikes nerve; it ignites our squall
as hands kneed flesh, chorus falls hoarse
ripe shadow probed, more we endorse
***

Written for dVerse Poetry form: English & Spanish Quintain, hosted by Grace.

I enjoy tinkering with new forms, and Grace suggested that we could even apply the form to another desire and sexuality theme similar to the Poetics: Desire and Sexuality in Poetry prompt I wrote Concentric Snapshots for earlier this week.

I mean, I certainly could use a few distractions, and what’s a better distraction than a little smutty poetry between friends, right? And it’s not even that smutty! 😉